Around Here, I Am Only the Guy Who Is Responsible

When asked by a reporter, “How in this confused situation can you retain command?” a young American infantry captain serving in the Vietnam jungle answered,

Around here, I am only the guy who is responsible. If these men don’t know what to do when they run into an enemy in the jungle, I’m too far away to tell them. My job is to make sure they know. What they do depends on the situation which only they can judge. The responsibility is always min, but the decision lies with whoever is on the spot.

(From The Effective Executive, p. 6.)

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1 Comment

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One response to “Around Here, I Am Only the Guy Who Is Responsible

  1. Ernesto

    Drucker’s writing on leadership is impressive not just for breadth with which he addresses the issue, from infantry captain to exec CEO and US President, but from the timelessness of his findings and advice. The original edition of that book highlights the telephone as the new technology and great distraction for true leaders. Seems outdated but his analysis is equally relevant and even more on-target today when we consider the impact of the internet and smart phones. An essential read.

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